I remember when I was very poorly. When I hadn’t left my bed for a very long time, and long before I was able to sit up in a wheelchair, that even in my dreams I was bedbound. All of my dreams at night consisted of me lying in my bed waiting for the day to be over, (yes truly it was pleasure overload. Many people talk about being so scared at night they wake themselves from a dream-but have you ever done it from sheer boredom? Some nights I’d be like “well thank god I chose a nice set of pyjamas, that’ll give me something to keep me busy-ooh that’s a nice bedspread, wonder if I can get it in pink”. Its all rock n roll in Carrie’s world of dreams I can assure you baby….)
What worried me most about this was that I knew on some level that if I couldn’t even imagine myself getting better anymore then I was in real trouble. If I had subconsciously given up then the answer or cure would always remain elusive.
I didn’t know what the answer was, so I used to pretend. I’d do things like shut my eyes and pretend I was shopping, or turn on the tele and pretend I was there. When I started to get better at that I’d take it a bit further-ridiculous facebook statuses such as announcing I was “off for a jog” dishonest? Yes. Deluded? Entirely, but after a while I started dreaming I was out with people in the world, dancing, laughing, working. And it made me feel a hell of a lot more hopeful I can tell you…
It is entirely possible that you don’t sit as firmly on the left side of crazy as I do. And I will respect that. But I have to say that this experience taught me an incredibly valuable lesson: my results are only ever as great as my expectations will allow. When I was in the wheelchair I pretended I was walking. When I was walking very badly I pretended I was doing it like the pro’s on the catwalk do. It really mentally got me out of those situations where I would otherwise keep myself small by following that voice inside me that said logically I wouldnt get any further than where I now stood in life.
I do still battle with thoughts that I don’t deserve a really nice life, someone to love me for who I am/ a brilliant job/as many pretty dresses as one wadrobe can handle. It also took me a long time to realise I deserve more than just good health. That I was worth more than having just enough energy to cope with life. That I should expect to be able to work full time and have a great social life AND a beautiful place to live AND go on lovely holidays. That my spare time should be spent out and about seeing the world and loving it. That I can live on a couple of hours sleep a night and then forget about my bed altogether. It’s normal, people do it everyday without thinking twice. I had to pretend my ass off for a LONG time before I really believed any of this stuff-trust me…
I don’t believe anyone has to be bedbound or in a wheelchair to want a better life. I think we can start telling ourselves a better story right here and now. I think we can tweak that story everyday until we believe it so much we aren’t even remotely surprised when it becomes a reality. I think the more we do it the easier it gets. And I KNOW as the stories get bigger and more elaborate the better my life gets. So here’s to your Once Upon. A Time. I hope it has the best Happy Ever After you can dream of.